Buttery Soft Pretzels

I made these for my husband's birthday. They are so good!! Be prepared for an arm workout while rolling out the dough. But it's all worth it!!!

4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
1¼ cups warm water (110 degrees F)
5 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup white sugar
1½ tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ cup baking soda
2 cups hot water
¼ cup coarse salt, for topping

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let proof 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, ½ cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450°. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve baking soda in hot water. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake for 8 minutes, until browned.

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